Clay was cast on this day, many twinkles and twilights ago. Darkness held the first day, just till light was let, like paint upon cavern’s canvas. There seemed no form or matter from which anything, all things, could emerge.
But then sky filled with breathtaking offerings of deepening blue, burning orange and bursts of gold and streamers of scarlet between. Then the feel of carpet of green as it was swept over the early earth. Then the smell of seas, flowing fragrant and fair. Then orbs, ablaze with hallowed hues and sacred speech, found fellowship within firmament. Then birds and beasts came and were soon sustained by sweetly sown seed and the foliage and fruit it would bear.
Then the awakening of man, freshly planted with life from the breath of Kindness.
Those first days are our days still, for days come when we awaken, whether suddenly or gradually. We look up, we look around and discover the universe about us. That the universe is about us. Creation becomes, then, a gaze at the Eternal. A call to consider, not consume. We are within it to reveal its order, frailty, beauty and fulness. We, the after-Adams and Eves, are seeking the same as they once did: the meaning of such majesty.
What hints there are in the infinite! What delight in the details! The first art leads still to the consummate Artist. There is no art without audience for every stroke, shade and sound was surrendered, that those here might know the Artist and recognize the signature and seal placed upon all created. The mark of cast Image and Likeness. For this masterpiece forged in solitude was given for all. To all.
Something radical entered in those days that endures to this one. On day one, a being so beautiful and bountiful began to speak, lips story-lined. Until creation, there was story, but no stage.
Rosh Hashanah is not a commemoration of first day and story sprung, as much as a call for us to live as if we were originated there and bear the seed of that soil. For the clay that cast us still clings to us. We are ruddy with the recognition of that day, on this day. In every day since.
The days we are poised at the port of, hold renewed things within the new year of 5782. The first breath of fresh days is full of momentous and meaningful celebrations, all of which reveal Elohim’s heart to be with us.
It is Tishrei that knocks upon our doors now. The feasts within it will cross our thresholds with invitations of their own. The first half of the feast season implores us to search and discover. The second half ignites us to celebrate all that was revealed.
We so often see what is not yet and miss the sweet celebration of what is.
We don’t want it to be true, but it so often is. When we lose celebration, we forfeit the rest that comes with it. That sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? Doesn’t celebration take work by its very nature? Not truly. Not when celebration is true.
For the portion of our story that opens its pages to us says that the required price has already been paid and it was a cost that we never could have funded for ourselves. All that is truly needed to celebrate such is our praise-filled presence. Our tables can be simple, if we allow those sitting at them with us to be the centerpiece of the feast. If we simply offer what has been given us–the finest of fare. Barren places don’t need to be filled, but found. Found fertile. Ready to burst and bear if we will tend them as living, simply in need of nurture.
Ephraim’s tribe revealed a people who recognized they were placed in the mountainous regions for their protection. Why? Because these ranges were highly fertile–intended for abundance. To pass their inheritance on, the tribe let others pass through them. That’s what inheritance truly does.
From current days, surrendered to Shmita, we can seek and find the fertile places we might have called barren. Those places we may have stopped nurturing because we saw lack within the space or saw no room within us. The portions of us we have neglected and not allowed others to pass through. For how can inheritance be gained if we don’t live as offerings of His goodness? If we don’t offer His greatness?
In days such as these, it is not a blank canvas or empty page we seek. It is the bold breath of God, already planted within us, that resounds and resurrects, renewing the sum total of every seed that has burgeoned from the beginning and broken with the blooming of Who He is and who we are with Him.
Each Rosh Chodesh and every Rosh Hashanah rebroadcasts the story of Genesis. They remind of our beginnings and recalibrate us to the truth that from the very first moment Elohim was given, spent, it was in the form of light radiant with love. Elohim was unafraid to be placed in darkness.
The story retells. It reminds. In doing so, we are restored to the story we were created to live. How crushing the reality that we forget. How glorious the truth that Heaven moves earth so we can remember!
Each new chapter of our story has the same line as that first day: “Let there be light.” This first line holds our endless invitation. Be light, radiant with love. We inhaled it at first breath. It breaks free, bursts forth, when we respond to what we’ve received and exhale. We were blanketed in darkness too, until light bathed us.
New moons usher in new days and summon us to worship. Not the orb of re-birthed light, but the One whose hovering hand hung it there. The One whose finger it dangles from. This Author and Illustrator who refuses to stop telling the story, even while fiercely and tenderly imploring us to practice our lines. This is the “why” of the feasts. Why we watch for them and find ourselves dug deep inside them. They help us get over our stage fright and run toward the stage, so the world will see the story, moment by moment, person by person, masterpiece by masterpiece.
In but a few nightfalls, we will cast our stones. They house the parts of our story that once held rough edges. Wave after wave of His presence, purpose and promise have turned rocky shores into pebbled beaches. Our aim, stone by stone is redemption. This is the story we tell. When we cast our stones, we name them each a testimony, for our testimonies go farther than our sin ever could!! That is His heart, cast toward us, that we would know how much farther love goes than anything that seeks to counter or counterfeit it.
Shana Tovah beautiful people!